Planning your Trip

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

1. AIRPLANE TICKET TO PEREIRA, COLOMBIA.

  • Suggested travel dates: August 1 to August 16th
  • There are several airlines that fly to Colombia. Following is a list of airlines that we know offer good prices: Avianca/Taca, Copa, Delta, American Airlines, United, Continental, Jet Blue, Spirit.
  • Things you to have in mind:
  1. Bogotá’s international airport is called EL DORADO
  2. There are no direct flights to Pereira but there are several connections through Bogota, Panama, Houston, etc. Pereira’s airport is called MATECANA.
  3. Tickets tend to go up on price starting early May.
  4. Workshop dates: August 2 – August 15, 2015
  5.  BUILDING LOCAL will offer transportation from Pereira’s airport to Cocora Valley, on Sunday August 2, 2015; and from Cocora Valley to Pereira’s airport on August 15th. See 7. TRANSPORTATION below.
  6. BUILDING LOCAL will NOT provide lodging in Pereira nor Bogotá (SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO ON OPTIONS).

2. HEALTH INSURANCE

BUILDING LOCAL requires a certification of this coverage. If you haven’t done so yet, please check with your Health Insurance provider about International coverage.

3. VISA REQUIREMENTS

U.S. Citizens traveling to Colombia do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist staying 60 days or less. If you have another nationality please check with the Colombian Consulate to see if you are required to have a visa.

Following is the list of countries that do not require a visa on the Colombian Embassy’s website (http://colombiaemb.org/)

4. CURRENCY

The currency exchange is around 2300 Colombian Pesos for 1 US Dollar.

Bogotá has many banks and ATMS (try to use the ones inside malls or banks), or you can exchange money at the airport, or exchange kiosks (CASA DE CAMBIOS) located in some of the malls as well).

EXCHANGING MONEY: If you are exchanging Dollars, we recommend you exchange around $200 Dollars > close to $350 000 pesos (thinking you will use about 30 000 Pesos/Day for food and drinks- not taking account any additional or purchases, gifts you might want to acquire, or additional visits you might want to make). There are no exchange kiosks in Barichara.

TAKING OUT MONEY: There are a couple of ATMs in Barichara where you will be able to take out money need be the case.

Barichara is also 30 min away from San Gil, a larger city where you might be able to find more ATMs and Exchange Kiosks as well.

5. CELL PHONES

You can buy a SIM card for an unblocked phone, or buy $20 phones at main cell phone provider stores, such as Comcel and Movistar.

Remember we can help you get a cheap cell phone ( around $20 Dollars) if you let us know by June 30th– you still need to purchase the prepaid minutes yourself.

6. CLOTHING

The average annual temperature in Salento and the Valley of Cocora is 15 °C (59 °F), with a maximum of 25 °C (77 °F) and a minimum of −2 °C (28 °F). Evenings tend to be cooler/colder.

Please bring appropriate clothes: Shorts/Pants and T-shirts (the optional light sweater) during the day. Jeans, shirts and a heavier sweater or fleece at night.

Bogotá’s climate is colder so it is important that you bring a couple of extra layers if you are planning to visit Bogota as well. A raincoat might also be helpful.

Construction clothes (remember you WILL get dirty!):

  • Pants or shorts
  • Solid Shoes (preferably boots –hiking boots can do)
  • Light and long sleeve shirts (as you might want to cover your arms from the sun).
  • A sweater /fleece for colder days
  • HATS (you will also find a variety of hats in Salento)
  • Thermos (hydration is essential- we will have a cooler handy on site, but we ask of each participant to bring their own thermoses so we are not reliant on plastic cups).
  • Comfortable socks!

7. TRANSPORTATION: PEREIRA-COCORA VALLEY -PEREIRA           

Our meeting point/time will be in Pereira’s airport (called Mantecañaon Sunday August 2nd at 12 PM . We will be holding BUILDING LOCAL signs so keep an eye out! Transportation from Pereira to Salento will be organized by BUILDING LOCAL.

Transportation from Cocora Valley to Pereira to be coordinated later on.

FOR INFORMATION ON THE COFFEE REGION, THE VALLEY OF COCORA AND OTHER PLACES OF INTERESTS  CLICK HERE 

8. IN PEREIRA

BUILDING LOCAL will NOT provide lodging in Pereira.

LODGING IN PEREIRA:

There are plenty of options for accommodations in Pereira. You can find almost every major world-renowned hotel chain here (Marriot, Sofitel, etc.). Hostels abound and apartments can be rented.

A suggested Hotel is the Hotel Pinares Plaza; BUILDING LOCAL has negotiated a 50% discount with the hotel. If you are interested in coming one or two nights early or staying an extra night in Pereira, please reply to buildinglocal@gmail.com with an email titled: Stay in Pereira, we will facilitate the reservation with the hotel so you get the discount rate. You are welcome to organize the stay in a group or as an individual.

9. IN BOGOTA

TRANSPORTATION FROM BOGOTA’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:

Once you arrive in Bogotá, be sure to take a registered TAXI from the airport- DO NOT take a taxi from the street.

There is a registered taxi kiosk in the airport, where they will give you a fixed price and will assign a car to you.

LODGING IN BOGOTA:

BUILDING LOCAL will NOT provide lodging in Bogotá.

  • There are plenty of options for accommodations in Bogota. You can find almost every major world-renowned hotel chain here (Marriot, Sofitel, etc.). Hostels abound, apartments can be rented, and there are great options for boutique hotels.

RECOMMENDED ARCHITECTURE TOURS IN BOGOTA:

  • WORKS BY ROGELIO SALMONA

http://www.fundacionrogeliosalmona.org/fundacion-rogelio-salmona/actividades/actividades-academicas/visitas-guiadas

Telephones: 011 (571) 283 64 13    –   011 (571) 341 66 29

Email: informes@fundacionrogeliosalmona.org

  • BICYCLE TOUR CANDELARIA

http://www.toursenbicicletaporbogota.com/la-candelaria/

  • GENERAL TOUR OF BOGOTÁ (Monserrate, Candelaria, Museo Botero, Museo del Oro, Museo Nacional, Bibliotecas, Andres DC)

Hotels usually offer these types of tours and services and they are probably the best bets…

You might want to contact each other to see if there is more interest amongst the group.

TRANSPORTATION WITHIN BOGOTA:

Taxis are abundant in the city, and are quite inexpensive. You should always try calling a taxi company rather than taking a taxi from the street- particularly at night (3111111, 2111111, 4111111 are some possible telephone numbers- you can ask in your hotel for options).

The bus system can be confusing, but there is always Transmilenio, which traverses the City North-South)

WALKING AROUND:

Bogotá is a big city and as in every big city, there is petty crime, so be wary of your handbag and belongings

Also, try to restrict your walking at night- there are certain areas where it is fine to walk (primarily in the north of the city: the ‘Zona T’ for example is an area full of restaurants, cafes and bars were you will always see a crowd)

Other resources: lonelyplanetvivabogotayourbogota.info

10. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS IN COLOMBIA:

TO BE UPDATED.

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